Raleigh Auto Repair (153 reviews)

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Head Gasket

head-gasket A head gasket is a gasket that sits between the engine block and cylinder head in an internal combustion engine. Its purpose is to seal the cylinders to ensure maximum compression and avoid leakage of coolant or engine oil into the cylinders; as such, it is the most critical sealing application in any engine, and, as part of the combustion chamber, it shares the same strength requirements as other combustion chamber components.

Occasionally, the compression in the cylinder will cause a leak to form in the gasket and the gasket will have to be replaced, or severe damage can take place (a “blown” head gasket). If the gasket fails, a variety of problems can occur, from compression loss (leading to power reduction, or a rough engine), to exhaust gases being forced into the cooling system, leading to the engine overheating and increased engine wear due to the motor oil being mixed with antifreeze.